Brewers: Big League ETAs For The Crew’s Top Prospects
By David Gasper
What is the big league ETA for Brewers prospect Ethan Small?
The Crew’s 2019 first round pick, Ethan Small, has gotten off to a strong start in Double-A Biloxi this year. He only had a handful of starts in A-ball in 2019 after getting drafted and then with no minor league season last year, it was difficult to know how much he progressed.
If there was a minor league season last year, Small would’ve likely been a strong bet to make his big league debut sometime in 2021. While there’s still a chance we could see Small in Milwaukee this year, he seems to be a little behind Ashby given that he’s in Double-A while Ashby is in Triple-A.
Small is still in the rotation in the minors and isn’t preparing for a bullpen role at the moment. Small could be more of a September call up if he makes an appearance this year. Craig Counsell did say earlier this year that Small and Ashby could be pitching big innings for the Crew this season.
Like Ashby, a spot in the rotation might be difficult for Small to get this year. Next year he can battle for an opening but a spot in the bullpen down the stretch looks like the most likely route.
ETA: Late 2021
What is the big league ETA for Brewers prospect Mario Feliciano?
I suppose you could count Feliciano as having already arrived, since he made his MLB debut earlier this year after both Omar Narvaez and Manny Pina went out with injuries. He drew a walk in his only plate appearance and came around to score the winning run of a walk-off victory.
As for a more permanent arrival, Feliciano needs to get healthy first. He’s missed some time recently with Triple-A Nashville with a shoulder injury. He wasn’t hitting that well to start the season, with just a .114 average in 12 games. He should be getting back into the lineup soon, but it’s clear he needs some more development time.
Feliciano was called up more out of an emergency than it was his readiness for a promotion. At the time, Feliciano and Luke Maile were the only healthy catchers on the 40 man roster after Narvaez got hurt. He only had single digit at-bats above High-A to that point.
Rosters aren’t expanding as much as they used to in September, with only two extra roster spots becoming available. Still, Feliciano could snag one as teams like to carry a third catcher in the final month of the season.
Manny Pina is a free agent at the end of the season and there could be an opening on the big league roster next year.
ETA: Late 2021/Early 2022
What is the big league ETA for Brewers prospect Antoine Kelly?
Antoine Kelly’s development and ETA is probably the biggest question mark of anyone in this group of Brewers prospects. Reports out of the ATS last year and from Instructional League showed Kelly had made remarkable improvement and his pitch mix had developed well enough to show more confidence in his ability to stick as a starter.
Kelly has a wide range of outcomes when it comes to his development. He could be a front of rotation starting pitcher if it all clicks, but he could also end up being a high leverage reliever.
If the Brewers want to continue developing him as a starting pitcher, Kelly’s development is going to take a little longer. If they decide to just put him in the bullpen, he could reach the big leagues much faster.
Kelly hasn’t pitched in a game yet this season as he recovers from Thoracic Outlet Surgery. He’s throwing again and building back up, so hopefully we’ll see him pitching again soon.
They’ll likely send him back out into the rotation, and we’ll see how he performs in that role after all the progress he made last year. His ETA depends on where the Brewers determine his future role is.
ETA as reliever: Mid-Late 2022
ETA as starter: Late 2023
These seven prospects are considered the top group in the Brewers farm system. Some of them are still a few years away, while a few of them are close to helping out the big league club very soon.